Birkett claims yellow jersey after winning second stage of the Berg

2014-07-18 00:00

BRIDGETOWN — KwaZulu-Natal’s Dusi champion Andy Birkett yesterday won the second stage of the Berg River Canoe Marathon on a cold, windy and wet afternoon.

The rain came down in buckets as Birkett ended first to win the 45,7 km stage from Sonkwasdrift to Bridgetown in three hours, 18 minutes and 21 seconds after a strong finish over the last few hundred metres to beat Capetonians Graeme Solomon and Simon van Gysen.

Van Gysen ended six seconds later while Solomon, who won the first stage, came in in two seconds behind Van Gysen.

Birkett will start in the yellow jersey this morning, while Solomon will be second, followed by Van Gysen.

There was big drama about 10 km from the finishing line when ocean canoeist Jasper Mocke, who made his Berg River debut and paddled with the leaders for a long time, became entangled between trees at Ysterpen and lost momentum. At that stage he was close behind Birkett, who was then in third place.

After the incident it was very difficult for the Fish Hoek canoeist to catch up with the other three, who were working closely together.

Eventually Mocke arrived at the finishing line more than two minutes later.

Birkett, who is taking part in only his second Berg River marathon in six years, says the others showed him the way.

“I follow the other guys and try to keep my mistakes to the minimum,” said last year’s U23 world marathon champion.

Solomon said the wind coming from the front had been merciless, while Van Gysen said the pace had been significantly slower than the previous day.

Defending champion Lance King is lying in 11th place.

In the women’s section Abby Adie is still leading. Her twin sister, Alex, was second yesterday, while Bianca Beavitt came in third.

Today’s 74,8 km stage from Bridge­town to Zoutkloof is the longest of the four. The race ends tomorrow at Velddrif on the West Coast.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.